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Penne with Hot Smoked Salmon in a Garlic Cream Sauce

Posted Feb 11 2010 12:41am

With Valentine’s Day heading towards us I started to think about the idea of the perfect coupling.  Not the human kind you understandbut the idea of foods that belong with each otherflavours and textures that just seem right togetherand that leave you with that mmm sensation and a little glint in your eye.  A few classics come to mind: lamb & mintstrawberries & creamapple & cinnamonchampagne andwellme. 

There is something reassuring about the familiarity of these tastesyet often their relationships are a rather exclusive affair.  Not every flavour can complement freshly baked salmon or a bowl of steamed new potatoesbut there are some ingredients that lend themselves to almost everything: they are the truly popular members of the flavour worldalways in the background somewhereadding to the atmosphere.   One such flavour is that of garlic.  Whether we realise it or notgarlic is used in nearly every variation and type of cookeryit can pack a serious punch or blend in to the backgroundacting as a base note for our palates.  But it is when you slow roast garlicin its skinthat the magic really happens.  It creates the most deliciouscaramel sweetfragrant paste you could ever hope foralmost unrecognisable as garlic in its raw formslow roasted garlic makes for a mellowdelightful ingredient and I simply adore it when stirred in to a cream sauce and accompanied by seasonal vegetablesfish or meat.

Herethe delectablehazy bite of hot smoked salmon and lightbright garden peas mingles with the richgarlic cream sauce with a delicate hint of lemon.  It is the perfect dish for this time of year: a bowl of soothing carbohydrates with a creamycalming sauce and masses of robustsmoky salmon.  A heavenly combination.


Serves 4

400g gluten free penne pasta (I use Doves Farm Corn Penne or Salute Penne available at Waitrose or Sainsburys respectively)

250g hot smoked salmon

200g frozen peas

250g oat cream

1 whole bulb of garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

Zest of one lemon

A small bunch of parsley


Preheat the oven to 190c (170c Fan).  Take the whole garlic bulb and peel away any loose papery skin from the outsidethen carefully slice the top of the bulb offabout ½ cm down from its tipso that you are left with the whole bulbpartially exposed.  Place on a baking traypour over the olive oil and season lightly.  Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the garlic cloves are soft and give when squeezed gently.  Remove from the ovenallow to cool down slightlyand thenwhen cool enough to handlecarefully squeeze out each clove from its casing and set aside.

Meanwhileput a large pan of salted water on to boil.  Peel the skin from the salmon and flake in to small pieces.  Finely chop the parsley and set aside.  Once the water is boilingput the penne on to cook for 8 – 10 minutes or until al denteadding the peas to the water for the last 2 minutes of cooking. 

Using another panpour in the oat creamand add the roasted garlic cloves and lemon zest.  Season welland then whisk together over a low heat until the garlic – which will be rich and gooey – is amalgamated in to the sauce.  Continue to cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes so that the sauce is bubbling lightly and heated through. 

Drain the penne and garden peasrinse with hot water and tip in to the garlic cream sauce.  Add the hot smoked salmon and continue to cook for a minute or twostirring the mixture together very carefully and giving the pan a shake so that the penne and sauce combine.  Serve while hotsprinkled with the chopped parsley.

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